Hosted telephony systems
There are many different options available to you when it comes to hosted telephony systems. These systems can enhance efficiency and productivity substantially, and you shouldn’t struggle to find a suitable solution for your requirements no matter what your needs and budget are. Talk to EBC Group about your the most suitable options for hosted telephony
What is it?
What is hosted telephony?
Hosted telephony which is also sometimes referred to as cloud telephony or hosted VoIP is where a provider hosts and manages your business phone system in a private data centre. When you invest in hosted telephony, you can get a telephone system that covers all your voice communication needs at a highly-affordable price. This gives you a solution worthy of a leading global business without forcing you to make an astronomical investment.
With hosted telephony, communication is delivered via the internet. Hosted telephony gives small-to-medium businesses the chance to utilise technologies that were previously only available to the biggest brands and enables them to make sizeable savings. You will normally only need to pay per-user-per-month, which means you won’t have to fork out for more than you need. What’s more is that you can scale up or down in line with your business needs.
Hosted telephony solutions are simple and quick to install. The term VoIP refers to voice calls that are delivered through the internet. People have been able to communicate in this manner for many years, but the levels of efficiency and reliability have grown massively over recent times. Hosted telephony systems are now just as dependable as conventional PBX systems, and what’s also attractive for many businesses is that they don’t need to cover ongoing maintenance costs or multiple phone lines.
Finding a host
The centralised data centre is updated and maintained by the provider whose services you are using, leaving you free to focus on your core duties. The company running the data centre are also responsible for maintaining security and disaster security, which again leaves you with less to worry about as long as you opt for a high-quality service provider with a great reputation. In the unlikely event something does fail, data will be sent to another area of the system so you don’t need to fret about downtime.
You can also look forward to taking advantage of a string of useful extra features when you opt for hosted telephony. These features mean staff can work at home just as efficiently as they would in the office, and can also perform their duties whilst they are mobile. Depending on which provider you choose, you may not need to pay anything for internal calls. You can also assign a single telephone number to different devices, set up diverts, call groups, redirects and much more.
PBX vs Hosted
If you are currently running a traditional PBX on your premises and in your organisation, you could be missing out on vast efficiency and enhanced communication capabilities. Moving to a hosted solution can mean enjoying a plethora of benefits thanks to the massive range of features that cloud-based telephony offers.
With hosted telephony, the system is hosted in the cloud as opposed to on your business premises. You can gain access to the system by using a softphone or IP handset. Softphones are screen-based virtual phones that are used with headsets. When calls occur, they are made via a broadband connection and are then routed to PTSN fixed and mobile devices.
You can avoid expensive maintenance and upgrades of your PBX system when you make the leap up to hosted telephony alternatives. What’s more is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining hardware or software or implementing upgrades, as this is all done for you, leaving you to focus on what you do best. Opt for hosted telephony and you’ll be able to take advantage of various useful call management features. You will also be able to integrate not only mobiles but other devices too. It doesn’t stop there – you’ll also get low-cost and even completely free IP calling.
The level of control offered by hosted telephony is extraordinary, and is one of the reasons so many companies are opting for the solutions. Even when your operations are spread across numerous countries and sites, management is simple due to the straightforward interface provided to you. What’s also great news for those considering upgrading to hosted telephony is that you don’t need to cover any costs for hardware, software or maintenance upfront.
More and more companies are being staffed by employees working on the move. If you need to cater for remote and mobile workers, hosted telephony could be the ideal solution. There is growing evidence to suggest the cloud based telephony is rapidly becoming the long-term norm for companies from various sectors. In fact, a Gamma survey of more than 400 companies in the UK found that only 2% did not use cloud services in any form.
Benefits of Hosted Telephony
Hosted telephony goes by many other names. These include cloud communications, cloud voice, IP PBX, virtual phone systems and hosted VoIP. However, no matter what you refer to it as, the concept remains the same. Hosting telephone systems in the cloud is becoming more and more common, and all the evidence suggests this solution is here to stay.
Hosted telephony involves calls being made via IP handsets and sent to the ISP network through a broadband connection before they are routed out. The fact that you don’t need to set up or maintain any PBX hardware at any of your sites is one of the biggest draws of hosted telephony. If you don’t already have PBX hardware on your premises or if you’re ready to upgrade your systems, it could be wise to arrange an upgrade as soon as possible so you and your business can start enjoying the huge advantages of hosted telephony.
Hosted telephony is incredibly scalable and cost-effective. It is also quick and easy to roll-out, and the change to hosted should cause only minimal disruption for your business. The SME market have been particularly enthusiastic about making the move to hosted – companies of this nature are traditionally more open to introducing new technologies. Though you may have concerns about covering the cost of hosted or the fact that you have already invested in PBX hardware, by planning to switch carefully and working with a trusted partner, you can keep problems to a minimum. The long-term savings and benefits attached to hosted are encouraging more and more companies to make the switch.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of switching to the cloud telephony
Cloud-based telephone systems can offer substantial assistance with disaster recovery and business continuity planning. When you opt for hosted, you can route calls so your operations can continue from a different site within just a few moments.
Reporting and call management
The vast majority of hosted systems support telephone system management and configuration through a simple and clear interface. A number of options for managing calls are available, and you can gain quick access to detailed information on performance via add-ons that provide you with real-time statistics.
Scalability is a commonly-cited reason for upgrading to hosted telephony. The way that hosted systems are able to integrate mobile and fixed line systems is an obvious draw, and the fact that they can be scaled up and down so easily depending on your changing needs is another great reason for embracing the technology. Should you open up a new office, you can immediately connect it to your existing system.
As you have no worries about capital outlay, you can enjoy greater cost control whilst enjoying all the benefits that hosted telephony has to offer. You will normally pay a simple set fee every month to access the services, which will assist you with budgeting. Any calls made between your offices are normally free, and any hardware-related costs you do need to pay will be minimal.
Security and peace of mind
Though many people still do have concerns about working in the cloud and security, your system is more secure than if you are using a traditional PBX system, which can also be hacked. Hosted at our secure and reliable private cloud environment with replication at a secondary site you ca be safe in the knowledge that the layers of encryption involved in hosted telephony will prevent any issues with confidential information being leaked. Features that can deliver the peace of mind you are seeking include voice data encryption, call encryption and a wide variety of anti-fraud measures put in place by leading hosted telephony providers. You can also set up alerts for unexpected rises in outbound calls so unusual activity can be spotted and prevented.
It’s no wonder so many businesses are embracing hosted telephony. Hosted telephony allows you to make instant changes and additions whilst making life much easier for moves between business premises. There are no PBX maintenance costs or capital outlay to worry about, sound quality is generally excellent and remote workers are supported substantially.
When you switch to cloud-based VoIP, the only equipment you need to purchase is the phones that you will be using. The phones you buy will normally be sent to you in a pre-configured state so you can start using them straight away. What’s more is that they can be used anywhere as long as an internet connection is available. This makes cloud-based VoIP ideal for companies employing staff working at home or on the move. The only real downside to using cloud-based business VoIP is that you will be relying on the supply to maintain your system, though you can keep the likelihood of problems occurring to a minimum by choosing your supplier wisely. If you have a large number of employees, on-premise VoIP could be a wise option, as you will normally need to pay per-user when using the cloud. However, if you’re a small-to-medium business, the benefits of cloud-based VoIP are plentiful.
By choosing the cloud-based option, you can benefit from automatic upgrades from the provider, and simple, efficient integration amongst physical phones as well as softphones, which is a term used to refer to the software used when making calls via your computer rather than a physical handset.
The future for hosted telephony
More and more companies are enjoying the heightened efficiency and flexibility offered by hosted telephony, even after initially expressing anxiety or uncertainty over making the change. An increasing number of larger companies with sizeable contact centres are embracing hosted because of its scalability and disaster planning credentials. When it comes to security, there is growing confidence in hosted, partially thanks to the lack of horror stories emerging around the topic.
The fact that so many businesses are seeking to heighten mobility, collaborate more and reap the benefits of United Communications means that the future for hosted is looking bright. The rate of adoption looks set to speed up dramatically over the coming years, so don’t risk being left behind. Why not get in touch and talk to us about our hosted telephony solutions today?